NEWS

Jordan Spieth tops field of 64 who have qualified for Dell Match Play

By Suzanne Halliburton
Published on

 
AUSTIN, Texas – Welcome back to Austin, Jordan Spieth.
 
The former Texas Longhorn star came in at No. 1 in the world golf rankings that were released Monday. Spieth and the other top 63 players officially have qualified for next week's World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play at Austin Country Club.
 
The 64 eligible players have until 5:00 p.m. Friday to commit to the tournament or give up their spot to the next highest-ranking player. According to the PGA Tour, two players among the top 64 already know they won't be in Austin.
 
Sweden's Henrik Stenson, who is ranked seventh, has said he can't be in Austin because of a schedule conflict. Jim Furyk, who is No. 15, is recovering from wrist surgery.
 
With Stenson and Furyk out, Patton Kizzire (No. 65) and Thorbjorn Olesen (No. 66) will move into the field.
 
Kizzire's tie for 33rd at the Valspar Championship this past weekend helped him move up three spots from No. 68 to 65 while Olesen slipped from No. 65 to 66.
 
Eligible players have the chance to improve their seeds in this week in events worldwide heading into the Dell Match Play, with its top prize of $1,612,432. The total purse is $9.5 million.
 
So here's what will happen next:
 
When the updated world rankings are released next Monday, the top 16 players will receive a No. 1 seed – similar to the NCAA's annual March Madness – for the match-play event. During a bracket show later that night that will be broadcast live from the Paramount Theater by the Golf Channel, each four-man group of match-play competitors will be announced.
 
Starting March 23, the four players in each of 16 groups will face off in round-robin matches at Austin Country Club. The player with the best record in his group will move on the round of 16, which starts March 26. The quarterfinals will be later that day, with the semifinals and finals to follow on March 27.
 
Spieth, who won the Masters and U.S. Open in 2015, will be the crowd favorite at ACC and the player most familiar with the course.
 
The past two winners of the Dell Match Play – Rory McIlroy and Jason Day – are ranked No. 2 and 3 in this week's rankings. Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler round out the top five.
 
Thomas Pieters was the only player to jump into the top 64 over the weekend, when he finished third at the European Tour's True Thailand Classic. Pieters' result lifted the Belgian – who starred at the University of Illinois – 10 spots in the world rankings from No. 66 to 56.
 
Here is the field as of now:
 
1. Jordan Spieth
 
2. Rory McIlroy
 
3. Jason Day
 
4. Bubba Watson
 
5. Rickie Fowler
 
6. Adam Scott
 
7. Henrik Stenson (will not play, schedule conflict)
 
8. Justin Rose
 
9. Dustin Johnson
 
10. Patrick Reed
 
11. Danny Willett
 
12. Branden Grace
 
13. Sergio Garcia
 
14. Hideki Matsuyama
 
15. Jim Furyk (will not play, recovering from wrist surgery)
 
16. Louis Oosthuizen
 
17. Brandt Snedeker
 
18. Phil Mickelson
 
19. Brooks Koepka
 
20. Zach Johnson
 
21. Carl Schwartzel
 
22. Kevin Kisner
 
23. J.B. Holmes
 
24. Jimmy Walker
 
25. Shane Lowry
 
26. Paul Casey
 
27. Kevin Na
 
28. Matt Kuchar
 
29. Marc Leishman
 
30. Byeong Hun An
 
31. Bill Haas
 
32. Andy Sullivan
 
33. Justin Thomas
 
34. Russell Knox
 
35. Danny Lee
 
36. Emiliano Grillo
 
37. Bernd Wiesberger
 
38. Thongchai Jaidee
 
39. David Lingmerth
 
40. Victor Dubuisson
 
41. Chris Wood
 
42. Martin Kaymer
 
43. Soren Kjeldsen
 
44. Billy Horschel
 
45. Ryan Moore
 
46. Kiradech Aphibarnrat
 
47. Matthew Fitzpatrick
 
48. Scott Piercy
 
49. Robert Streb
 
50. Smylie Kaufman
 
51. Jaco Van Zyl
 
52. Anirban Lahiri
 
53. Jamie Donaldson
 
54. Daniel Berger
 
55. Rafael Cabrera
 
56. Thomas Pieters
 
57. Charley Hoffman
 
58. Jason Dufner
 
59. Fabian Gomez
 
60. Chris Kirk
 
61. Matt Jones
 
62. Graeme McDowell
 
63. Lee Westwood
 
64. Marcus Fraser
 
Alternates: 65. Patton Kizzire; 66. Thorbjorn Olesen; 67. Ian Poulter; 68. Gary Woodland; 69. Ryan Palmer
 
This article was written by Suzanne Halliburton from Austin American-Statesman and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.